Thursday, October 07, 2010

Fred's like false advertising.

Last week I saw an ad for a Bissell Power Steamer in the Fred's sale paper. I went down there and guess what? No Bissell Power Steamer. What I should have asked, but never imagined that I should have asked, is if this was something that they actually carry. Instead I asked the manager if I could get a rain check for the sale price. "Sure!" he said and directed an employee to write me one.

She was very nice and explained that the trucks deliver on Wednesdays. "Just call after 1:00 to find out if our delivery arrived."

For me, that sounded like, "... it WILL come, I'm just not sure if it'll be before 1:00 or not." How silly of me to have believed that.

So I call today, figuring that the delivery is definitely there. I speak to a girl who said that they don't have any. "That's not something we normally carry," she explained. "Maybe it'll be on the next truck."

I seriously hoped that the "next truck" would not be another week, but my hopes were dashed when she told me it would be next Wednesday. "We don't always carry what is in the ad," she tried to explain.

Excuse me? Then what is the point of the ad and the rain check? My understanding is that the ad IS what you carry and it IS supposed to be on sale, except for "disclaimers" which I address below. I am reminded of the Jerry Seinfeld rental car.

My rain check is sort of the reservation. I have reserved this Power Steamer, but this is even worse. What if Jerry went up there and though he made a reservation for a mid-size car, he was told that they don't even HAVE mid-size cars at this rental place? How is this any different?

In any case, when you publish an ad for a product at a price and you don't have that product at that price, does this make it false advertising? You are advertising something that is false. Right? There was no "disclaimer" saying that it was only "participating stores" written anywhere. I checked. It's not there.

Add this to the list of stores with terrible customer service.

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